miércoles, 9 de octubre de 2013

Lessons admirable

Ago, and a month I received a call that had all the "papers" to allow me to believe in the goodness of those responsible for managing the business. Personally, I have the good fortune to meet many, now well you know my position. They are luckier because they know me.

The call was brief: "Hey, Alvaro. Come to here. We have to design the pricing policy for the coming year. "A" worth "of me but I did not have enough hold back and said," If you're telling me to stop everything I'm doing and run out to your office; you have two problems. One, define your pricing policy. And another, my pricing just suffered a substantial increase. You know of my abilities for the first problem, the second just to eliminate any possibility of solution. "
For you, dear reader, do not ever do something similar. First, because they know your customers. And second, because I have alternatives. In any case, the caller's response was: "Jod ... atizarme not lose chance, come and tell you." That day, my client, was lucky.  The coffee we drink, what I pay. I was in a good mood to see that an official of a company wanted to make things right. Another one which was included in the club, the managers who are concerned in advance of every situation and possible solutions. The rest, possibly you, because you're still waiting mediocre face difficult situations when they arise.
After my first meeting, the issue was clear.  's case is an industrial company that transforms components, assembles and sells to customers that incorporate, in turn, the product is received by the customer. So, at that time, the situation was summarized as follows:
·         There was a good chance to get a better purchase prices to suppliers of raw materials and components.
·         Its production processes were highly influenced by a lack of adaptation to the market reality.
·         The allocation of costs was inaccurate and out of date.
·         Trade policy coherence is not maintained or was planned.
With these "twigs" had to build a "basket". Had to prioritize and rethink each point.
Having spent a week analyzing the entire system from within, it was time to bring my client the way to go. I called him first thing in the morning, and I said, "Do you luck, I'm in a good mood. In twenty minutes I pick you up at your factory is now not going to pay for the coffee. "
I picked him up and after a few minutes driving, I asked where he had to drink coffee. He simply said, "Today you will have the opportunity to see the best pricing system sales. Then you only have to imitate him. " After a half hour drive, we reached a small village, of those in which time seems to happen. We entered the bar, there was his mistress. A lady of 60 years equipped with her apron, hands accustomed to work, and an eternal smile. As always, greeted me warmly and conditioned a table. Without saying anything else, we brought a teapot and cups. This lady makes the best coffee pot I have ever tasted. At the bar there was nobody and she went into the kitchen to get on with your job.
My client had the face of impatience and seemed puzzled. Just happened to me: "I did not know there was a factory here." "I did not tell us to come to any factory, take the coffee and relax," I replied.
From the first sip, my client's face changed. Undoubtedly it was the best coffee I had ever had. I was enjoying the second coffee when I called the owner and invited her to sit with us. We had a conversation with her.
"Tell my friend as a day job is yours." She told us the following:
"I get up at six o'clock and seven o'clock am in the bar. I feel at this very table and write the menu that I will offer that day. I make a list of ingredients and quantities I need. I have a list of things that I have here, is a long list that I update before closing last night. Then I call the market to order everything I need. I'll say prices and removing or adding until all the money I spend that day I can. Sometimes I have to redo the menu with other ingredients, there are things that not every day can be paid. When I have entrusted all that I need and I've redone the menus, calculate how much time I spend on each plate. So long as I know I have to have lit the fires, oven, or what you will need. On a sheet, for each course, write down what it costs me each ingredient, quantity, time required and add the ingredients that I have here. "
"How do you know how much it cost the products you have here?", I asked. "Whenever I buy things for the pantry scored in the package price at which I bought it."
She continued. "To all this I add the cost of the bar depending on the time it takes to make the food, you have to spend cooking, serving dishes, pick them up and scrub them."
And as you do that, I asked. "Very easy. If the bar is open and do nothing, I have no income but expenses. If spending more is because I have done anything and that is only done if a customer entered. So that more spending was to meet and serve that customer. But, in addition, that customer has been able to enter because I was spending money on having the bar open. All that you have to add it. If I had one client who was having a coffee and I paid one euro, would have cost me what it costs to have the bar open one day, over the fire, the water, put more time, collect and clean the cup, spoon, over coffee and sugar. If only gave cafes, I need to know how many customers, charging a euro, earn some money. Like most things I do because I can split the bar spending in each of them. So I know what I have to sell to earn something. "
But how do you divide bar spending on everything you sell? She replied. "A coffee needs a few things but do not need a knife, then the knife is spending for anything that can be sold. Each thing in its place and to each his own. "
"And what else do you do in a day?", I asked.
"I attend the bar and when I close review time it took me to do everything. I have a notebook in the kitchen and every time I pass I write everything I've done since the last time. So I'll see if what I foresee in the morning has gone as expected. Then I close the box and divided the money you'll spend for shopping the next day that I want to save. There's more you pay, the agency, insurance, my salary, taxes, etc.. "
The lady apologized, had things to attend to. My client had not opened his mouth. At that time his gaze was lost in the bottom of the coffee cup. I have no idea, but it sure was more than two minutes in that situation. At that time the owner happened to across the table and asked: "Today, when you've ordered products on the market, have you been able to haggle over prices?". She replied with a grin: "One thing is to look for the best price that you want and the other is that no matter what I want".
I must admit that my client's silence puzzled me. So I decided to stop what they were thinking. I told him to get up and come with me to the kitchen. See cooking is a show that, in addition to absolute cleanliness and order an operating room itself, it was a pleasure to see how everything ran. The good lady was not surprised by our presence, she knows I like to "sniff" and is used. In the presence "unknown" My client wanted to apologize for your kitchen means: "I wish I could have one of those kitchens you see on TV, but I'm going with these stoves apañando over fifty years, a furnace of formerly the Village and the small space. "
Here was no microwave, no dishwasher, no nothing to what can be used.
At that time the lady asked, "What do you think are the reasons that have customers?" With much aplomb She answered: "Look, son, I realize that not everyone can come because they like what I do and only, appreciate that the prices are good. I also know that others, like you, you come because you like something to do. The case is to be served to everyone equally and I can not put the prices that I would like to attend the first or the second worst. "
"Have you ever thought about having two prices for the two types of customers?" He asked.
She replied: "More important than the price, to me, is to know what I make on each client. I care to know how much it costs me what I give to each client. That's always what I have to charge. Another thing is to reduce or eliminate what I earn with a client or another. I have to ensure that the next day I can buy what I need to keep opening the bar. Also I have a secret, to customers who only see the price, they sell more. They know that I have good prices, but there are some things that I earn more than others. When I offer those in which I earn more, I also buy them. "
We went into the kitchen telling the owner charged me coffees and homemade liquor bottles she does. We leave with the friendliness and familiarity of any grandmother.
In the car, way back, my client asked me liquor. I said, "I bought it for two reasons. A regalártelo because I want to drink it whenever you remember the lady. And the other, because the lady has dedicated time. A time when you could not do what I had planned and will earn less money today because he has lost that time. In the liquor bottles has a margin that will compensate our visit. "
The first time I went to this bar was by chance. I ordered a coffee and gave him time to pay five euros. I was amazed to see the turn. The owner to see what would tip, sensed that had seemed cheap. I guess I identified as a customer who would for the price. Then began their business strategy. He offered me taste the liquor. I bought half a dozen bottles. Over time becomes another type of customer and serve me coffee at the table.
The next day we had a meeting at the factory. He had called a meeting with the entire management team. My client took the floor and said, "Yesterday I was in a factory with more problems than us to negotiate with suppliers with a poor production system, but with a clarity of ideas as it has large clients that makes money and a capacity exemplary commercial. We have fewer problems with suppliers, a production process that has to improve, we know the reality of our costs and we are not able to provide the client with what we can offer. So the problem we have us and we have little time to raise awareness and improve. "
I said nothing, now my client and invites me to all the coffees.